Licence testing will resume from Monday

THERE’S good news for young drivers looking to get their learner and probationary licences – the state government announced learner permit and licence testing, including drive tests, will progressively resume from Monday.

The first priority under the staged resumption will be to re-book tests for those whose appointments were postponed because of coronavirus restrictions.

Those with postponed appointments will be contacted by VicRoads directly to reschedule their tests in the order of cancellation.

New appointments will be available once the backlog of postponed tests is cleared.

The news will be music to the ears of local L-platers, including 18-year-olds Hannah Peatling and Kasey Peverill, who were left stranded and frustrated on their learner permits after VicRoads suspended all light vehicle drive tests and computer-based licence tests because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Having clocked 115 of the required 120 hours needed on her Ls, Kasey was set to book in to get her Ps before coronavirus put a stop to it.

Kasey took the initiative to write a letter to the Gippsland Times outlining her concerns, pointing out groups were allowed to congregate for indoor dining, yet two people were not allowed to be in a car for a driving test.

The Chief Health Officer has outlined a range of measures to allow drive testing to begin safely for the workforce and public.

This includes cleaning of vehicles used in tests, comprehensive hygiene for applicants, instructors and testing officers and the use disposable seat covers, particularly if customers are using their own vehicles.

No one should be taking driving tests if they are unwell.

Tests have been suspended since March 25, with more than 100,000 licensing appointments, including 55,000 drive tests, postponed to protect staff and the community.

Since then, VicRoads has approved more than 2700 licence tests for people who would have faced undue hardship from not having their learner permits or licences.

As part of the resumption, more than 200 new staff will be hired to help work through the postponed appointments as quickly as possible, with testing to resume at all VicRoads testing locations.

Six new, temporary licence testing sites will also be established to increase testing capacity, which will begin operation in coming months.

This option will continue to be available until the availability of new appointments returns to normal.

Everyone is reminded that while VicRoads customer service centres remain open, they should not visit unless their matter is urgent, and are strongly encouraged to complete transactions online.

Heavy vehicle testing and motorcycle tests will continue as they have done so throughout the past two months.

For more information, visit vicroads.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.